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Social media has proven successful in helping some marketers earn new and often better ways to build and network with a targeted community. It isn’t surprising then to see that we now have an enormous number of different social media platforms at our fingertips, each created for every type of audience, community and interaction - and all under the watchful eye of friends, fans and followers.
When I was a kid, my dad would often take my brother and me with him while he ran his Saturday errands. Sometimes one of the stops was the local garage. More often than not, this particular stop was a social one, so to placate his two young boys and buy off our patience while he jabbered, my father would let us each have a bottle of soda from the big, red, bulbous Coke vending machine. Since then, Coke and other vending machines have slimmed down and gotten pretty sophisticated, and it turns out that there are other things happening in the 130 year-old vending industry that some liken to a mini-renaissance.
For those who are unsure about whether to invest in either PR or advertising, the answer isn't one or the other. It’s both. PR works best in unison with other marketing strategies, strengthening credibility and branding and serving as the gatekeeper for reputation. The process is easily integrated since PR outreach has evolved to include digital communications along with media relations.
Editors and reporters have less and less time to listen to press pitches and a few precious moments to scan news releases. They’re wearing multiple hats, working on unforgiving deadlines – especially as news organizations continue to lay off employees.
The world of campaign politics provides a stern proving ground on which to learn and practice the skills of crisis communications. Looking back on years of experience in some very tight, very public situations, a few guiding principle emerge. In crisis, which usually arrives suddenly and with little opportunity for preparation, keep in mind some essential principles when the crisis starts to break (since your mind is likely to be spinning and overwhelmed when crisis hits, best to give it some thought while you’re relaxed and thinking clearly). The steps you take in the initial moments will shape what happens as events unfold over the ensuing hours, days, and weeks:
Whether it is a television commercial from a pharmaceutical company touting a small pill, or a print ad for a large metropolitan hospital, the health care industry is out to capture your business. The pharmaceutical companies send their messages directly to consumers promoting either over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Hospitals, on the other hand, get their patients principally from referrals made by their associated physician. Hospitals compete…for patients…and physicians. Hospital advertising targets individuals to get them to ask their doctors about specific treatments. At the same time, it tells physicians about services they offer and what a great place their hospital is. The goal is to get the physician to be an affiliate and refer his or her patients to that hospital.